Saddle Creek | The Faint | Reviews


Wet From Birth

Author: L.A. Solinas
09/08/2004 | | | Album Review
After two relatively unnoticed albums that refined its sound, The Faint broke out with the feverish, gritty Danse Macabre. That was almost three years ago. Now, The Faint shift focus once again with Wet From Birth, staying just as sickly gloomy but adding richer musical dimensions to sand down the edges.

Eerie violin solos aren't the first thing you think of when reflecting on Saddle Creek's dance champions (oxymoron, anyone?), but that's exactly how the peculiar "Desperate Guys" starts up. The Faint tone it down during the hallucinatory synthpop of "How Could I Forget" and bass-heavy rocker "I Disappear," but the symptoms return; "Southern Belles in London Sing" tests positive for this new twist.

Not all the synth-dance, however, is as assured as The Faint's earlier musical traits. "Paranoiattack" sputters aimlessly for about thirty seconds before hitting stride and even then it's nothing to write home about. In fact, more than a few songs follow this lead -- fun, but you won't remember them when you walk out of the room. Admittedly, they do successfully transition into some angular punk songs near the end of the album.

Wet From Birth feels like a transition. The Faint has one foot in the new-wave of Danse Macabre, influenced by bands like Depeche Mode and The Cure, and the other foot hovering over the newer, more organic sounds woven in. The violins aren't strong enough yet to overpower other dance elements, but they certainly do capture your attention. Well, nothing grabs it quite like the raccoon penis bone used on "Birth." That's right, the raccoon penis bone.

Now, I can take a stab at what a raccoon penis bone is, but I sure can't figure out how you make music with one. Apparently, though, one was used in the grand finale, "Birth," which showcases The Faint's need to get in tune with the experimental sound via instrumentation and sums us the oddity and lengths of curiosity The Faint have resorted too on Wet. All this experimenting gets mixed in nicely at points, but frequently it feels just stuck in.

Seriously? A raccoon penis bone?


Wet From Birth

Wet From Birth

LP / CD / MP3